Cover photo for Kathryn S. Ames's Obituary
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1946 Kathryn 2023

Kathryn S. Ames

October 2, 1946 — July 12, 2023


Kathryn Sandford Ames, 76, of Athens, passed away on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.

Born in Pontiac, Illinois, she was a daughter of the late John William “Bill” Sandford and Margorie Williams Sandford. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Dan and George Sandford.

Kathie was employed with the Athens Regional Library System (which includes 13 libraries in Clarke, Franklin, Madison, Oconee and Oglethorpe Counties in Northeast Georgia) where she served as Director for almost 30 years. She received a Specialist in Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina, a Masters in Education in Library Science from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Journalism from Northern Illinois University. Prior to her career with the Athens Regional Library System, she worked as a School Librarian in Rochester, NY, and Newport, TN, Librarian for the American School of Bangalore, India and worked with a committee on the integration of school library collections and services with the Metro Nashville School System.

Kathie served as consultant on 39 building projects and developed several major research partnerships within the community. During her tenure, Athens Regional Library System was honored with many awards and grants including the Library Journal’s 2009 Best Small Library in America finalist; 2007 Public Library Association’s Highsmith Award for Innovation; the 2004 Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Award to develop a 3-year pilot project within a Hispanic neighborhood in collaboration with the Lyndon House Arts Center; a second IMLS National Leadership Award for the development of a 3-year project tying Baby Boomers and technology; National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant to raise funds for the library’s Endowment; Cultural Olympiad Regional Designation Award in the Humanities; Public Library Services from the Georgia State Board of Education and the Governor’s Award in Humanities among numerous others. Kathie was also honored in 2016 when the Plaza of the Athens-Clarke County Library was named for her in recognition of more than 40 years of faithful service.

Survivors include her husband, Glenn C. W. Ames; son, A. Michael Ames, daughter-in-law, Amy, grandsons Ethan and Cole of Pittsboro, NC; son, Thomas C. Ames, daughter-in-law, Erinn, grandsons Nathaniel and Matthew and granddaughter Addison of Evans, GA; daughter, Allison Jennifer Ames Boykin of Nashville, TN; sister, Diane Sandford and brother-in-law Mike Stueben of Falls Church, VA; brother, John “Jake” and sister-in-law Francis Sandford of Chicago, Illinois and niece, Eleanor Sandford Laramie; sister-in-law, Marcia Sandford and Bill Hester of Flowery Branch, GA and nephew, Andy Sandford; sister-in-law Lori Sandford of Woodstock, GA and nephews John and Bill Sandford.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Athens-Clarke County Library Foundation securely online at by selecting "Athens-Clarke County Library Foundation" at the bottom of the page. Checks can also be mailed to: Athens-Clarke County Library Foundation, 2025 Baxter Street, Athens, GA 30606.

A Celebration of Life is planned for Saturday August 26, 2023, at the Athens Clarke County Library at 2:00 PM open for family, friends, and colleagues.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathryn S. Ames, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Athens Clarke County Library

2025 Baxter Street, Athens, GA 30606

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